Odell Williamson Auditorium Is Back!
An empty theatre is a strange, kind of eerie place. That feeling also scales with size, so walking around the empty, quiet, 1500-seat Odell Williamson Auditorium bordered on spooky. With no audience in the seats and no set pieces on the stage, the only feature was a lone “ghost light” placed downstage center bearing a plaque honoring Mike Sapp, the facility’s first manager who passed away in May of 2018. But all that is about to change.
Live performance returns to the Odell Williamson Main Stage with the Kingston Trio on September 9 and continues with a wide variety of performances, and now some movies, for the rest of the year.
As a lead up to that, and a celebration of the opening of the theatre, Odell Williamson staff will host a re-launch event on August 16, the first day of classes at Brunswick Community College. The event will feature a live radio remote, food and beverages and the opportunity for people to stop by and ask questions, look around the facility and most importantly, buy tickets!
“We’re just ready for people to be back,” said Odell Williamson Auditorium (OWA) and Campus Event Director Danielle Graves. And she said they are actively trying to expand their appeal to all residents of the county, particularly younger people. “Let’s see what people want,” she said. “We know that they want to get out.”
“We had one target base pre-COVID and we want to change that. We want to hit every demographic now,” Graves said. “We want to bring something here for everybody.”
The addition of movies to the OWA schedule was a result of changed thinking during the COVID pandemic, Graves said. “We talked about it pre-COVID and I thought it was a lot of money. I’m just kind of in the ‘why not, just try it’ mood. We’re working on getting a sponsor for it. Everything has changed post COVID, so why not.”
The first movie will be “Top Gun” with a matinee on Sunday, Aug. 15 and a nighttime showing on Monday, Aug. 16. The rest of the movie schedule will follow the same Sunday matinee/Monday evening format and will include “Gremlins” and “White Christmas.” Dixieland Kettlecorn will be on hand during movie showings and the longstanding policy barring food and drink from the seating area of the theatre is also changing. Graves said this came out of her conversations with younger folks. “They want us to be House of Blues, with dancing up front by the stage and all that, but now we’re at least letting you bring your drinks into the show with you,” she said.
The theatre will retain its focus on live music, Graves said, with Blues Traveler and Shakey Graves on the schedule for September and October, and local favorites the Seas Notes and Brunswick Concert Band returning. The popular Listen Up Brunswick music series will return in the fall as well.
The OWA website is also getting an overhaul, Graves said, making it easier to purchase tickets online. And speaking of purchasing tickets, here are all the shows currently confirmed and coming soon, but keep an eye on these pages and social media as more shows are being added.
Aug 15 at 1 pm and Aug 16 at 7 pm – “Top Gun” movie. As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things (1986). General admission is $5
Sept 9, 2021 – The Kingston Trio - The Kingston Trio is an American folk and pop music group that helped launch the folk revival of the late 1950s to late 1960s. Admission is $37 and $35.
Sept 30, 2021 – Blues Traveler - The American rock band formed in Princeton, New Jersey in 1987. The band's music spans a variety of genres, including blues rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, soul, and Southern rock. General admission is $60.
Oct 23, 2021 – Jon Reep - American stand-up comedian and actor, known as the "That thing got a Hemi?" guy in Dodge commercials starting in 2004. From 2004 to 2006, he played the recurring character Police Officer Gerald Bob in the ABC sitcom Rodney. In 2007, Reep won the fifth season of Last Comic Standing on NBC. General admission is $35
Nov 6, 2021 – Shakey Graves Was Here tour - Shakey Graves is an American Americana musician from Austin, Texas. His music combines blues, folk, country, and rock and roll. General admission is $40.
Call the box office at 910 755-7416 to purchase tickets, or visit www.bccowa.com